How To Turn A Mason Jar Into A Fermenting Crock

Mason Jar DIY Fermentation Lid (1)

You can spend a lot of money on specialized pickling crocks. Go ahead, be my guest. You’ll learn all about how your $25-$200 is buying you an ideal anaerobic environment in which to nurture your precious anaerobic bacteria…blah, blah, blah. Me? I don’t need another unitasker in my kitchen. I like to be able to use a [Continue Reading...]

Three Book Giveaway: Build The Life You Really Want

Lisa Kivirist (1)

An advertising agency in Chicago used to pay Lisa Kivirist one big paycheck. Now, hundreds of people pay her lots of very small ones. All these little paychecks – over a thousand last year – allow Lisa, her husband John and their son to live the life they want: rural, sustainable and meaningful. People write [Continue Reading...]

Lacto-fermented Cherry Salsa

Lacto Fermented Cherry Salsa (5)

It’s been cherry-palooza around here. I’ve dried, frozen, canned in lime-almond syrup (fabulous, by the way), given away and eaten (and eaten and eaten and eaten) fresh cherries by the pound. We’ve even got my 2 year old saying “cherries make ya poop a lot!” which seems far more adorable when it’s coming out of [Continue Reading...]

By Popular Demand: Pressure Canning Planning Sheets For Low Acid Foods

Pressure Canning Planning Sheet

A few of my readers mentioned that a planning sheet for low-acid foods to go with last week’s Canning Planning Sheet would be pretty useful. Ask and ye shall receive, Gentle Readers! You’ll find this on the downloadables page paired up as a two-page PDF with the (Water Bath) Canning Planning Sheet, so if you want both you [Continue Reading...]

More Organized Food Preservation: A Canning Planning Sheet

Canning Planning Sheet Thumbnail

I’m a bit late to the game this year in terms of laying out my canning goals. But, with the majority of the summer harvest still to come on in this area, it’s not too late to make a game plan. For a canning overview, I like to list out my canning projects by type (jam, [Continue Reading...]

Add An Outdoor Tic-Tac-Toe Board To Your Garden

Garden Tic-Tac-Toe (3)

I saw a photo on Facebook yesterday of an outdoor tic-tac-toe board with stone markers. It was so adorable, and so totally do-able that I immediately ran outside to make my own garden tic-tac-toe game. This project was super fast and easy, required only stuff I already had kicking around, and the kids love it. Gather [Continue Reading...]

Giveaway: Honeybee Democracy – For Beekeepers And More

Honeybee Democracy

Thomas Seeley’s fascinating Honeybee Democracy has received press in some unusual circles for a book about insect behavior. Everyone from homemade mead-makers to The New Republic has weighed in with glowing reviews on this study of honeybee swarms. The reason for this broad appeal is simple: Seeley does an excellent job describing the how and why of honeybee group decision-making, [Continue Reading...]

The Personality of Perennials

Image: Wikipedia.

The very first garden I planted was an ornamental shade garden. I was very eager. I put in a little pond and a little waterfall powered by a cheap pump. I had some Big Tree people plant three mature birch trees for privacy, and in the partial shade beneath the birches I planted pink Japanese [Continue Reading...]

The Ugly Side of Urban Homesteading: Screening Storage Areas with Pallets

Pallet Screen (5)

Perhaps your garden, like mine, has a dumping ground area. Some place where random bits of lumber, useful but not in-use buckets and lengths of rebar mingle with weeds, neglected tools and a compost bin that’s seen better days. That’s the Ugly Side of Urban Homesteading – it’s when a focus on reuse and the [Continue Reading...]

To Do In The Northwest Edible Garden: July 2012

Screen shot 2012-07-02 at 8.28.02 AM

Beginning of July and everything is soggy with occasional gloombreaks. Typically, Pacific Northwest gardeners are feeling really cheated right about now, having made it through Juneuary and confronting a July that’s not yet delivering summer. Try not to worry – this is all about expectations. Every year we expect summer to run from June to September, and [Continue Reading...]